In a recent study conducted for the Australian Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre (STCRC), improved business planning was identified as one of the most pressing needs of Small-to-Medium Tourism Enterprise (SMTE) operators (McGrath 2005). A further significant problem confronting these businesses was coping with rapid change: including technological change, major changes in the external business environment, and changes that are having substantial impacts at every point of the tourism supply chain (and at every level: from international to regional and local levels). As a result of these findings, the STCRC provided funding and support for a follow-up research project aimed at producing a Small Tourism Enterprise Planning Simulator (STEPS). Briefly, the aim of this project was to produce a business planning aid (STEPS), suitable for use by SMTE operators. The focus of the work was on accommodation enterprises and the broad objective (of what is, essentially, only the initial stage of an ongoing project) was to produce a pre-production prototype.
by G. Michael McGrath, Henk Meijerink and Pramod Sharma